This 2009 movie stars Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. The opening scene is a party at the US Consulate in Dubai 0n 4 July 2003 where Roberts and Owen meet and introduce themselves as Theresa Corrando and Jimmy Tierney. From this moment, I had a suspicion this film would disappoint because I can never forget what a Literature teacher said: the main characters of a good story don’t appear at the beginning.
True enough, the story pans to the Grand Central Terminal five years later, where Owen loses track of Roberts. Is Roberts working for “Mossad, the Syrians, the Russians or the CIA”? She is a Equikrom spy as well as the Assistant Director of Counterintellegence. At one meeting, she is told: “We’re here today becuase we find ourselves in a world where duplicity and theft are rested daily as replacements for innovation and perseverance.”
Then the camera pans to Rome, two years ago. Owen sees Roberts from a roadside cafe and follows her. They go to a hotel for three days and they both miss their flights for their respective assignments. They then decide to go private, in partnership. Owen ‘bumps’ into a Barbara Boffered at a pub and gains access to the offices of Buckett and Randall, which will be rolling out a new product but keeping the scope, the details and the existence of this project in great confidentiality.
Next, it’s London, eighteen months ago. Owen visits Roberts at the hotel where they had made a prior appointment. They end up quarelling.
Almost abruptly, in Maimi, fourteen months ago, Roberts take on a job without Owen, and he discovers she is actually Ms Claire Stenwick. We now know his name is actually Ray Koval.
Then, at Cleveland, three months ago, a total corporate war takes place over something big.
In Zurich, twelve hours earlier, at the airport cafe, Claire and Ray meet to split a $35 million reward for stealing a formula which they sold to the Swiss businessman, Richard Garsik (played by Paul Giamatti), CEO of Project Samson, in the final testing stages for a product that can restore hair foillcles, a cure for baldness. However, it turns out that what they stole was a bogus formula for a common cream, a lotion.
Then, the viewer is shown how, ten days earlier, Claire and Ray were captured on camera (hidden at the cornice of the ceiling).
The final scene shows both of them beiing served champagne while waiting at the hotel lobby with their luggage. At least they had each other.
I usually enjoy movies that star Julia Roberts or Clive Owen, but I was disappointed with this one. I did not like the way the time frame worked – opening with an exact date, then simply ‘five years later’ next, and suddenly switching to ‘two years ago’, and so on. It is confusing! The plot is not exciting either. The visuals and editing are very good, though. And I especially like the song during the End Credits, in particular the accompanying guitar parts. The other songs (about eight of them) are unfamiliar and not so impressive as they did not do much to enhance the mood or atmosphere.